Graves’ legislation would make staged collisions a federal crime

Staff Report
In a file photo, U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) speaks to members of the Houma and Houma-Terrebonne Rotary Clubs.

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves introduced legislation that could lower insurance rates for Louisiana drivers by making it a federal crime to stage a vehicle crash and fraudulently claim damages.

In a news release, Graves pointed to a ring in New Orleans investigated for staging car collisions. As of November 2021, 40 people have been charged (resulting in 29 convictions so far) for intentionally causing more than 100 wrecks. One staged incident alone resulted in a $4.7 million settlement.

Graves introduced the legislation, the Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2021, with U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar. It is supported by the American Trucking Association.

“Louisiana drivers pay some of the highest insurance rates in America," Graves said. "This is unacceptable, and the solutions don’t require rocket science. Our bill will prevent criminal rings from further increasing the cost to drive and do business in Louisiana. That one $4.7 million settlement caused all of our insurance rates to go up."